M2 - Ireland: second transnational meeting

  • Partners arrived on Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday took part in the successful launch of our space balloon with onboard data sensors, 360° camera and mini space 'astronauts' from each country!  There was great excitement for the launch which involved the support of two local companies with offices in various European countries - CMS Distribution and DeCare Dental. Both have become involved in our Erasmus programme and helped sponsor the activity. A space balloon expert was flown from Birmingham to guide the launch and our pupils were great in helping prepare the balloon and payload.  The balloon reached an altitude of 28km before bursting and returning to earth with the payload landing safely following the deployment of a parachute. There are five layers to our atmosphere – Troposphere (up to 20km high), Stratosphere (20-50km), Mesosphere (50-85km), Thermosphere (85-600km), Exosphere (600-10,000km). Our balloon reached the Stratosphere. You will find below a complete video of the journey. Around 20km high ice-crystals are visible and the temperature drops to -51°C. In the Stratosphere the temperature actually increased with altitude to -40°C  as ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is absorbed by the ozone layer. Had our balloon reached the top of the stratosphere the temperature would have risen to about -15°C  before falling sharply again in the Mesosphere. The event was also covered by our regional radio station - Midwest Radio. 

    The video of the flight is 360° so view it fullscreen to pan around. Control the 360 degree fullscreen video on your phone or tablet by moving your device.  To view it on a VR headset visit https://youtu.be/XPfoCtv5NSA or search for “Gortskehy in Space” using your VR YouTube app. 


    Co-ordinator's Report:

    The meeting held in Ireland was really interesting, as the major challenge was the launch of a space balloon. We all - teachers, students, expert, and the whole community- gathered inside a big barn, part of a huge field near the Gortskehy National School. An expert from Birmingham came to take care of all the due technological arrangements before the lauch. He equipped the balloon with a  GoPro camera and some kit to record basic information (temperature, altitude, etc.).

    Some gadgets, brought from each partner school, have been attached to the balloon: little flags, puppets, styrofoam mini spaceships,even a toothbrush!!

    After the launch, it took about 3 hours to the balloon  to reach the stratosphere, then it burst and returned to Earth. The GoPro camera recorded and tracked  the balloon's itinerary, and us teachers tracked its progress using a GPS and following its route and location  by car! We drove among the most stunning fields and panoramic sights of Ireland, until we tracked the balloon and retrieved it.